Yesterday morning was the funeral for (and celebration of) little Caden Joelle's life. The visitation was somewhat somber (as to be expected), but once the service began, amazingly much of the sadness turned to joy. Our pastor's spoke, of course, but the amazing thing was that Cari and Andy were also able to speak. They shared with those in attendance about Caden's life. They talked about the things she loved, the things she didn't love, and the plans they had made for her. And, as Cari so eloquently put it, we are indeed witnessing a miracle.
It's a miracle that they would be strong enough in the Lord to stand up at their own daughter's funeral and speak about her with happiness in their voices. It was a miracle to see them smiling, laughing, and sharing fond memories of her - their only child who had passed away so suddenly at only 8 months of age. And this morning, I personally witnessed what I thought to be the most amazing miracle of all.
Cari and Andy were in the row next to and in front of us this morning in church. I could not help but continue to glance over at Cari as she poured her heart out in song to her Savior. She was so happy. So content. So peaceful. The joy I see in her and Andy is a miracle that only the Lord can accomplish.
Yesterday during the visitation, as my eyes welled with tears, Cari asked me how I was doing. I whimpered back, "I'm supposed to be asking you that." She responded with, "I'm doing fine. Everyone's praying for me. Who's praying for you?"
At dinner last night, a friend of mine relayed to me Cari's words to her as she went through the visitation line: "It's not fair, Amanda. She's in heaven already."
Every time I have spoken with Cari this weekend, she has thanked me repeatedly for all I have done for them. I'm not even sure that I've done anything, but I am so amazed that she is carrying on an attitude of thankfulness during this time.
I cannot describe to you the faith that has been given to Andy and Cari during this time, but I praise the Lord for fulfilling His promise to never leave us or forsake us. He has comforted them in ways I would never have thought possible. They are so at peace knowing that God wanted little Caden to come home to Him and that His timing is perfect.
Things tend to get harder when all the commotion settles down and the prayers stop flowing incessantly, so please continue to pray for Andy, Cari, and their families. Again, if you wish to leave your condolences, please visit their family blog.